Open Source Food

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From Humanitarian-FOSS Project Development Site


About Open Source Food

Open source food (OSF) was founded on February 16, 2008. It was built and designed by an independent web producer in Tokyo, Yonfook. OSF describes it self as a place of, "Amazing Recipes. Delicious Food. Beautiful Photography. Created and rated by you and fellow food-lovers from all over the world. Open Source Food is your gastronomic hub where every visit will bring inspiration and a rumbling belly..." [1]. OSF fosters a creative environment where chefs and cooks from all levels, beginner to professional, can view and admire each other's recipes. OSF also brings to light many new styles of cooking and obscure recipes. For example the, white fungus with lotus seed and ginko nut or the heart stopping vinagered pig trotters -- which ever your palate desires. However, OSF serves as a place where people from around the world can look for inspiration for new recipes.

Open Source Spying and Open Source Food -- What's the link?

In the New York times article, Open-Source Spying, author Clive Thompson investigates the need for change in the United States intelligence agencies. He describes the current attempt at changes to the archaic government information sharing network, Intelink. Surprisingly, there is a link between open source spying and open source food -- secrets -- both areas rely on a form of secrecy. The intelligence agencies have secrets that cover a wide range of areas and that could jeopardize the country's national security and there are also many acclaimed recipes where the chef has a secret ingredient. An ingredient, if known, that could jeopardize the recipe's popularity and the chef's business.

Open source spying and OSF are also similar in their operations. Even though there are some professionals that have posted recipes on OSF, recipes are linked to the owner through a user name. Each user creates there own user name and password and can even upload a picture of themself to their own personal profile. Their user name and picture displays next to the recipe. A difficult issue in open source spying revolved around agents posting wrong information. The solution to this problem is similar to OSF and social networking in general. Everything an agent posts is linked to his/her name, forcing agents to be more conscientious about what they post.

Both of these fields are using the open source method for the same reason, sharing information that otherwise would not be know to other agents or cooks. However the similarities seem to end there. Spying and food are as different as first presumed and for obvious reasons.

Looking Ahead -- OSF's Future

Open source food has a favorable future and mostly likely will succeed. However, as with other fields that are attempting to go open source, food recipes have been around for thousands of years. This presents an interesting dilemma. On the one hand, recipes have been shared and are generally used for social reasons, but on the other, some chefs claim certain recipes their own. Issues might not arise around a single person taking a recipe and making it in their kitchen, but if that one person takes a recipes that is not theirs, posts it on OSF, and take credit for it, that is where the issue is.

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